Sunday, January 3, 2016

Joe Killian And The Dark Money Trail: Epilogue

Recently, in his story, The Tinfoil Hat Brigade, Fec pointed me to an above the fold, front page story in the Greensboro News & Record in which journalist Joe Killian accused local bloggers of making up stories that Greensboro Mayor Nancy Barakat "Grasshopper" Vaughan attempted to have her political rivals killed in the lead up to the election.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Killian's story, And the "Scoopy" goes to .... makes the following claim:

"The rumor — stoked by local bloggers and quietly encouraged by competitors: Vaughan tried to have her political opponents killed."

Killian names no names as he hasn't the balls to do so. Naming names would give even a bigger audience that we already have. But any Google search will eventually lead you back to the first article in this series titled, Why Is Joe Killian Of The News & Record Covering Up Devin King's Near Fatal Accident?  the first in my series, Joe Killian And The Dark Money Trail.

In his blog post  The Tinfoil Hat Brigade, Fec wrote:

"Using front page top of the fold positioning to impugn the local bloggers is more about protecting Killian’s reputation than the mayor’s. Killian is paid to commit yellow journalism, whereas Billy has published an enormous amount of content for over ten years without significant income.  Sure he’s over the top and often wrong, but the First Amendment guarantees that right.  And in a local environment where the media increasingly refrains from reporting important news, Billy’s blog has become required reading.

So, you have our local daily coming down hard on the bloggers for the perceived slight of one person.  Trust me, there a lot of people who have problems with Killian and some of them are elected officials."

 And in that we have Fec giving us motive for Joe Killian, aka Joseph Fredrick Wilbur's story. We'll get back to motive later but for now let's go own with proving Killian the liar we know him to be.

Killian wrote:

"This year Vaughan faced two challengers for mayor — perennial losing candidate Sal Leone and newcomer Devin King. Both managed to get into serious car accidents during election season. Police investigations found both to be accidents with no implication of foul play."

Well actually, if you'll read the entire series I wrote you'll learn there was no police investigation of Devin King's accident. The so called investigating officer reported that Devin King was immediately rushed to the hospital and the officer never had the chance to question Mr King about what happened and according to Mr King no one from the Greensboro Police Department ever contacted him.

Another thing you will notice throughout my series is evidence-- real solid evidence like police reports, links to government documents, photographs, anything I can get my hands on. What kind of evidence does Joe Killian, ace reporter for the Greensboro News & Record give you in his fairy tales? Joe says so. As Fec wrote in Joe Killian Repairs His Reputation:

"It’s just great that Killian bought a homeless guy a sandwich, but that doesn’t really rise to the level of a story.  Fortunately, some neoliberal asshole showed up to save the day.

How convenient.

Killian has a rich history of accusations that his reporting is not completely factual.  Some city council members and county commissioners refuse to speak on the record with him due to these incidents.

I’ve watched Portlandia and know pretty well how Killian thinks.   He wouldn’t be able to hold his head up in any of Greensboro’s tragically hip haunts without somehow repairing his reputation.  But it’s not like the N&R was going to spend paper and ink to actually refute the damning account in the Rhino.  No, something else was required and fast."

Oh wow, I think I just came back to that motive thing. And before I intended to.  Oh well, shit happens if you eat regular.

Killian continues:

"But the local Tinfoil Hat Brigade spun out tall tales that had Vaughan — who ultimately took a staggering 87 percent of the vote — putting out hits on her far-behind challengers like a mafia queenpin."

Again, not once throughout the entire series Joe Killian And The Dark Money Trail did I or any other blogger accuse the Grasshopper of attempting to murder anyone. Go ahead, read the entire series for yourself and you will find that despite the fact that I asked many questions the only accusations made were made against Joe Killian and the Greensboro police department.

Damn Fec, the more I think about it the more I think you're right, Killian must be doing it to save his reputation. When his wife Amanda was covering local politics we local bloggers simply accused her of not being bright enough to know to ask the right questions but we've all acknowledged Joe Killian to be a smart and capable investigative journalist who just isn't doing his job. Being painted as a dumb bimbo doesn't stop someone from getting a big buck job with a company like RLF Communications which is siphoning off tons of Greensboro taxpayer dollars but if a reporter gets branded as corrupt even the dark side of media won't hire him.

Joe Killian finished his tall tale with:

"She hired someone to crash the cars, the stories went. Or to tamper with the cars, in order to make them crash. She bribed or intimidated the police into declaring them accidents. 

Occasionally, truth is stranger than fiction. This one, though, was science fiction."

But the thing is: nowhere in our series Joe Killian And The Dark Money Trail did we ever say those things. Joe made all that up just like he makes up the rest of what he writes in the Greensboro News & Record.

Now I'm going to tell you part of what we left out of the original series.

It is my belief that Joe Killian refused to cover Devin King's accident because our local political establishment feared a sympathy vote and rumor inspired votes might push Devin King above Mayor Vaughan in the final polling.

Why did Mayor Grasshopper feel the need to speak directly to Mr King and tell him she did not try to have him killed if no one reads this blog?

While the series seemed to look to Mayor Vaughan and Marty Kotis as possible suspects there was a 3rd suspect who Devin King, myself and others asked the Greensboro Police Department to investigate as the possible attacker of Devin King. GPD never responded to requests by Mr King, myself or others I've talked with.

 Pay attention, look at how much time passes before the rear bumper cover is finally found. For weeks I repeatedly e-mailed the Greensboro Police Department asking them to produce the bumper cover and they never once replied to my e-mails. They didn't reply to Devin King either.

Did you notice the insurance investigator finally showed up to look for a lost bumper cover 25 days later? As you can see in the photograph they found one too. Now if nothing else this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Joe Killian lied when he wrote:

" Police investigations found both to be accidents with no implication of foul play."

Joe Killian, you have got to be just about the dumbest son-of-a-bitch I have ever encountered. It wasn't enough that I proved you a flat out liar in the original series, you were stupid enough to make up even more lies that were too easily proven false.

Now let's take a look at Mr King's car after the bumper cover was "found" 25 days later. I can't prove Devin King's "accident" was intentional and I can't prove our suspect did it if it was intentional but I have repeatedly proven Joe Killian a liar and what you see in this photograph and the conversation that follows is going to make you question the Greensboro Police Department even further.

Study that picture. Be sure to look closely at the spare tire and wheel laying on top of the "found" bumper cover. Any of these photos and screen grabs can be enlarged by clicking on them.

So maybe that's Devin King's spare tire and bumper cover or maybe it isn't. Mr King says it's not his tire.

Maybe Devin King was the only driver involved or maybe there was a second driver involved. We've certainly proved Joe Killian was lying when he said Greensboro Police investigated.

Why even Roch Smith Jr e-mailed Joe Killian saying:

"[A]ttributing to nobody in particular and a group in general the facetious ramblings of a single person with a self-admitted mental disorder is shameful, even if it is a good way to marginalize bloggers with a sweeping generalization.
Kudos. You must be proud."

Who knows, maybe Joe Killian just helped to repair a long standing rift and begin a rebuilding of the local blogosphere. If so you can take this for gospel: That is the last thing in the world Greensboro Mayor Nancy Barakat "Grasshopper" Vaughan and the rest of the Greensboro City Council ever wanted to see happen.

And while it may be that I'm the one with the "self-admitted mental disorder" anyone who takes the time to thoroughly read the entire series, Joe Killian And The Dark Money Trail will know it was Joe Killian,  aka Joseph Fredrick Wilbur and not Billy Jones who lied.

And folks, the only way to fight a dishonest media is by sharing stories like this one. Please share.